Premier League - Season Specials
Black Cats running out of lives - Sunderland strip the most relegated in Premier League history (Thursday 13th April, 2017)
Sunderland are staring down the barrel at relegation in the Premier League's 25th season and, according to research by spread betting company Sporting Index, who are also celebrating their 25th anniversary, their kit makes them prime candidates for the drop.
In the 25 seasons of the Premier League, 30 of the 75 relegated teams have worn stripes, with 22 sides wearing red, and a further 39 having a secondary colour of white - the same as the Black Cats.
Better news for David Moyes is that white is the most sported short colour - though Sunderland's black shorts are next with 16 relegations. White is the most common sock colour for relegated teams, with 20 sides.
Sunderland face West Ham this weekend, and with 10 points separating them from safety are desperate for a win - although given their unlucky kit, their fate may already be decided.
The research from the spread betting firm is to mark Sporting Index's 25th anniversary, who just like the Premier League, have been delivering plenty of excitement since 1992.
Just as the introduction of the Premier League raised the bar for English football, the original in-play betting company Sporting Index has been at the forefront of sports betting innovation, setting trends that others have been following for 25 years.
These include being the pioneers of both in-play betting and cash out - keeping football fans gripped since the early 90s.
Ed Fulton, spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "The bad news keeps coming for David Moyes and the fact that Sunderland are wearing the Premier League's unluckiest kit won't help the beleaguered Scot."
"Sunderland's slide towards the Championship has seemed inevitable for a while. Moyes has tried and failed to turn around their form, but perhaps a change of kit could give the Black Cats the change of luck they need to avoid the drop."
Red is the colour but blue is fighting back (Friday 28 April, 2017)
The Premier League is nearing the end of its 25th season and research from spread betting company Sporting Index, who are also celebrating their 25th anniversary, shows that despite a recent blue resurgence, red is still the luckiest kit colour.
Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United won an incredible eight of the first 11 Premier League titles, with shock winners Blackburn the only `blue' champions in the first dozen seasons.
However, it's been a tale of two halves with Chelsea, Manchester City and Leicester looking likely to give the blues eight wins from the past 13 years.
White comfortably wins the shorts argument, with 18 of the champions sporting the neutral colour, while six winners have worn blue.
White has also been the most popular shirt collar colour, but black has marginally dominated the socks.
The spread betting firm, which was also founded in 1992, conducted the research to mark its own 25th anniversary.
From late winners in 'Fergie Time' to Eden Hazard's goals for Chelsea this season, Sporting Index has helped punters trade excitement throughout the Premier League era, keeping fans gripped for the full 90, since the early 90s.
Just as the Premier League raised the bar for football worldwide, Sporting Index have been innovating since 1992, introducing in-play betting, cashing out, and buying and selling - the original exchange.
Ed Fulton, spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "The birth of Sporting Index coincided with the start of the Premier League and we've seen so much excitement over the past 25 years."
"It was like the Red Sea at the start of the Premier League with Man United and Arsenal dominating, but the tide has changed in recent seasons."
"What is certain is that if you support a team who doesn't wear red or blue you've got absolutely no chance."
New Gunner Lacazette tipped to net 18 goals (Friday 7th July, 2017)
Leading spread betting company Sporting Index expect new Arsenal signing Alexandre Lacazette to notch 18 Premier League goals this season.
The Frenchman has today put pen to paper on a five-year deal to make him the Gunners’ record-signing, and Sporting Index’s traders believe the striker will be a hit in his first season at the Emirates.
Sporting Index’s Ed Fulton, said: “Arsenal fans have been calling for Wenger to splash the cash for the last few seasons, and Alexandre Lacazette is certainly the type of player to excite supporters and get them off their seats."
"Last season Alexis Sanchez was the first Arsenal player to score over 20 league goals since Robin van Persie in 2012, and they could look to cash in on the Chilean frontman if he refuses to sign a new contract. That leaves big boots to fill, and Lacazette could be the man to step up with the lion's share of goals for Arsene Wenger's side."
"He has scored over 20 times in each of the last three seasons for Lyon in Ligue 1, however asking him to score 20 in his first season in the Premier League is a big ask. If he notches eighteen times in the league, then he'll surely be deemed a big success in his debut year."
Lukaku tipped to notch 20 goals for United (Friday 7th July, 2017)
Leading spread betting company Sporting Index expect Romelu Lukaku to strike 20 times if his expected move to Man United goes through.
Jose Mourinho's side have agreed a reported £75m fee with Everton for the Belgium striker, and while he notched 25 times for the Toffees in the Premier League last season, Sporting Index expect him to fall just shy of that total when he turns out for the Red Devils this year.
Sporting Index's Ed Fulton, said: "Jose Mourinho has been desperate to land a striker to fill the goals scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic last season, and it looks like he's landed his man with Lukaku expected to complete a medical and sign personal terms shortly."
"Lukaku scored an impressive 25 goals in the league for Ronald Koeman's side last season, and while some might say he'll have more chances created for him in a stronger side, he'll be in competition with the likes of Marcus Rashford for a place in the first XI. We expect it'll be hard for Lukaku to replicate last season's total with the Toffees in his debut season with United."
"The Belgian is big and powerful enough to scores all types of goals, and if he manages 20 this season then I'm sure he'll win the hearts of the Old Trafford faithful."
Morata set to net 16 goals for Premier League champions (Thursday 27th July, 2017)
Chelsea's new £58m import Alvaro Morata is set to reward his buyers with just 16 goals next season, short of the Blues' 2016/17 top-scorer Diego Costa.
Costa, expected to exit Stamford Bridge before the campaign kicks off, bagged 20 Premier League goals last season and the world's largest sports spread betting firm, Sporting Index, thinks that Morata will fall short of that figure.
In Sporting Index's list of Premier League individual player goals spreads, Harry Kane leads the line with a predicted 23 goals, followed by Manchester United's £75m signing Romelu Lukaku on 20 goals.
Morata also has Arsenal's French import Alexandre Lacazette ahead of him on 18 goals, whilst the Spaniard is predicted to score more than Wayne Rooney, 10 goals, and West Ham's Javier Hernandez, also 10.
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Alvaro Morata has some big boots to fill at Chelsea and we think he'll fall short of Diego Costa's 20 goal haul of 2016/17 on 16. He has competition from Michy Batshuayi to start up top while Chelsea also face a stiffer task in general this season."
"As long as he's fit, Harry Kane is certain to turn out for Tottenham every week and he's an out and out goal-scorer. Kane heads our spread of the Prem's top marksmen with a predicted 23 goals, while we think Romelu Lukaku will be breathing down his neck in the race for the Golden Boot on 20 goals."
Managerial Sack Race (24th August 2017)Leading spread betting firm Sporting Index predicts the first Premier League managerial casualty will be in 50 days, on Friday 13th October.
The first fortnight of the Premier League has produced a few surprising results to leave some managers under pressure, none more so than Newcastle United and Crystal Palace bosses Rafael Benitez and Frank de Boer. Both managers have yet to pick up a single point in the league and could be in for some Friday 13th bad luck if results don't start going their way.
The Magpies suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Tottenham and lost 1-0 at fellow promoted side Huddersfield, doing little to steady Newcastle's already-rocky ship and causing pundits to question the future of Benitez. To make matters worse, the Spaniard saw his underperforming side crash out of the EFL Cup last night to Championship side Nottingham Forest in extra time.
Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer has recent first-hand experience of the fragility of the job after he was sacked as Inter Milan manager less than three months into the job. The Dutchman could be in for another early exit as his team chase their first goal and point in the Premier League this season.
Unlike Benitez, de Boer did manage to escape a shock cup exit to ease the pressure after the Eagles scraped past Ipswich Town with a 2-1 result on Tuesday, which may keep him safe for now.
In the last decade of the Premier League, only one manager was sacked before October, with Paolo Di Canio shown the Sunderland door in September 2013. The former Black Cats boss was the first of a record 11 Premier League managers to be given their marching orders in the 2013/2014 season.
However, Sporting Index predict that no one will follow in the footsteps of the Italian this year, with October viewed as the month of the first managerial change.
In total, 127 managers have been sacked over the Premier League's 25-year history, and with an average of five managers dismissed from their posts every season, this number is set to surpass the 130 mark this campaign.
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Football, as we know, can be a cut-throat business and even the best managers are only a couple of results away from getting the sack. We saw this with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and Claudio Ranieri at Leicester, despite both winning the league months before being given their marching orders.
"With nothing to show for after two games, Rafael Benitez's magic looks to be wearing off and a terrible result in the cup has compounded his misery. Meanwhile, de Boer and the Eagles still have to face Manchester City and Manchester United in a pressure-filled September."
"While Premier League sackings have dipped over the last few years, it's rare that all managers are still in the dugout at the end of October, which is when the first sacking has come in the previous two seasons, and we think the trend will continue this year with a benchmark of another 50 days predicted until the first managerial casualty."
Free scoring City predicted to fall short of record goals tally (22nd September 2017)
Sporting Index predicts Manchester City to hit the net 97 times in the Premier League this season.
Manchester City have piled in the goals so far this season but will still fall short of their Premier League record of 102, according to leading spread betting firm Sporting Index.
Pep Guardiola's side have found the net 16 times this season, the same amount as city rivals Manchester United, and welcome bottom side Crystal Palace to the Etihad on Saturday afternoon.
With Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus notching ten goals between them in the first five Premier League outings, the Citizens front two will fancy adding to their impressive tally so far this season against Roy Hodgsons relegation-threatened side tomorrow.
However, despite City making a strong start to the season, Sporting Index predict that the title challengers will still come up short for their record Premier League amount, with a predicted total of 97.
City scored a club record 102 Premier League goals in the 2013-2014 season one short of the league record set by Chelsea in 2009/2010. In that season, Yaya Touré, Sergio Aguero and Edin Djeko grabbed 53 goals between them.
In the first five matches of that season City managed 12 goals compared to their 16 so far this campaign. But, despite arguably being on course for the record early on in the season, Sporting Index believe they¿ll just fall short of three figures come May.
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "City have been firing on all cylinders in the first five matches of the season, and many expect them to score at will at home against bottom side Crystal Palace on Saturday."
However, City's problem has been consistency in the last couple of seasons, and there's still a long way to go before they match their record set in the season they clinched the title from under the noses of Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola's side's biggest test has come against the Reds, but they were fortunate with Sadio Mane¿s sending off and the goals flowed as a result. We think there are to be tougher games on the horizon, and there's still a lot of work to do to reach the highs of that club record-breaking season.